Lecture: Fire in the Head: Energetics in Indigenous Mexican Herbalism and Curanderismo
The polarities of totona (heat) and cehuia (cold) run through all creation in the indigenous cosmology of Mexican Curanderismo. They are essential to understanding the “how” of traditional herbal cures. Often cited as a reduction of European Hippocratic Humoral systems, or a borrowing of East Asian energetics, the Mexican polarities of hot and cold are actually part of a larger holistic concept of the body and its pathways of energy, the animistic centers of the body, commonly known as the ‘three souls’. Through the use of certain plants to affect change within the hot/ cold balance of each of these souls, curanderos can heal, brujos can harm, and we re-imagine the world around us. The lecture will provide key theory in understanding this cultural conception of herbal healing, and will go into the uses and applications of several plants used within Border and Central Mexican Curanderismo.
JESSE HATHAWAY DIAZ is a folklorist, diviner, artist and performer living in New York City. With initiations in several forms of witchcraft from both Europe and the Americas, he is also a lifelong student of Mexican Curanderismo, an initiated Olosha in Lucumi, and a Tatá Quimbanda. He is half of Wolf & Goat, wolf-and-goat.com, a store specializing in Occult Art, Materia Magica, and Esoterica from Brazilian Quimbanda to Traditional Witchcraft and Conjure.